To launch one new beauty salon in Aberdeen during a pandemic would be challenging enough – but Julie Hulcup of The Collective has launched TWO!
Where it all began
It all began in February 2020 when the businesswoman, backed by her supportive team, rebranded a city hair and beauty salon on Union Street. It was then named The Collective Aberdeen and because it was the city’s newest luxury hair, beauty and wellbeing salon, there was great excitement about its opening – then Covid hit.
Looking back to that uncertain time, Julie admits today: “I didn’t know if we would ever open again.”
However, the four-month lockdown from March to July 2020 allowed Julie and the team to completely revamp the salon. She reveals: “I painted it from top-to-toe myself.”
It was a real team effort in the salon’s refurbishment as team members got involved too, selecting the stylish furniture and pictures hanging on the wall. The result was a stunning looking salon.
Also, at this time, Julie focussed on advertising and marketing to promote the business, creating a real buzz in the area and much anticipation about the reopening of The Collective Aberdeen.
Then in July 2020, after a four-month closure, the salon began its first full month of trading.
Julie recalls: “Lockdown had a big impact on us and it was a very difficult time, but there was an initial rush at The Collective because of people’s lockdown haircuts and many women colouring their hair at home. There were also a lot of roots to touch up!”
Just when the salon was beginning to establish itself, there were more lockdowns, locally in Aberdeen and then nationally!
Again Julie found a positive – it created the perfect opportunity to get the salon floors sanded and looking as new. A new backwash was also installed.
A sparkling opportunity on Diamond Street
A third reopening happened at The Collective Aberdeen which led to its client base growing massively at the start of 2021, leading up to the salon recording its best month of trading so far in April.
Then salon owner Julie identified another ‘sparkling’ business opportunity when she heard about premises in Diamond Street become available.
Julie explained: “It was a lightbulb moment for me as we always planned to do more at the basement of Union Street and develop it into a beauty area, especially since my daughter Ellie has recently qualified in beauty. Then the Diamond Street salon came up for let – it was a hairdresser before and already had two wash basins – and I thought that would be ideal to make our beauty dream come true.
“Opening a second salon was always part of our expansion plans – we just didn’t expect it to happen during these testing times.”
New beauty salon opening in Aberdeen
The second salon is now ready for opening – and threw its doors open for the first time today (Friday 17 December).
Aptly named The Collective on the Corner, the salon will be a one-stop-shop for beauty. With three brow and lash stations; one pedicure station; two nail bars; two makeup stations manned by two MUAs; two hair stations and one treatment room, The Collective on the Corner has everything you could wish for, all under one roof at 9 Diamond Street.
Besides hair, brows, lashes, tanning, makeup on offer at The Collective on the Corner, you will also be able to benefit from a sports massage there too, as salon owner Julie – who is also a qualified personal trainer – will personally offer this service, after completing her training in sports massage.
Julie explained that clients of The Collective Aberdeen will benefit from the arrival of the new beauty salon as loyalty programmes, special offers and rewards will be introduced.
Working ‘collectively’ for the future
In less than two years, this business has launched, developed and expanded during challenging times. This success has also benefited the staff who work there with Courtney Forbes recently being promoted to salon director and Abbie Salmon being named style director. Meanwhile, Courtney Vaughan has been appointed to senior stylist and Anna Hay has become a junior stylist. The team are supported by assistant manager Rebecca Booth and part-time style director Alex Clark.
In addition to this, there is also a self-employed team contributing to the good work at The Collective. They are: Alanna Morrison, Paula Gill, Amber Turner and Katie Urquhart. Renting chairs out to talented self-employed hair and beauty artists has always been important to Julie.
Without this hardworking team behind her, Julie says she could not have got where they are today. She sums it up perfectly:
We are all working collectively to generate an experience for people that is both luxury and affordable.”
There are still plans in the pipeline for developing and expanding the original salon on Union Street as Julie hopes to create a spa there offering various relaxing body treatments in the basement.
You can also follow The Collective Aberdeen on Facebook.